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Aiming

God, what the fuck is this, my fifth attempt to make “aiming rules”? It’s my white whale…

Here is the proposal:

This is only for ammunition & thrown weapons for now, not spells, at least not yet. I’m gonna use “arrow” in the description but could just as easily be dagger, sling bullet, crossbow bolt etc.

How to Aim

To aim, make an aiming roll vs the enemy’s AC using your weapon proficiency (so same modifier as you’d use for an attack) and if you make the roll, roll your weapons’ damage expression (for example 1d8+3 or whatever) and note that you have that many aim points on that enemy as long as you’re keeping your weapon aimed at that enemy. You can only have aim points on one enemy at a time, so you only need to keep track of one pool of aim points. Aiming costs the same action econ as attacks do, so if you have extra attack or multi attack you can aim more. You can also keep aiming over multiple turns to rack up the aim points.

Once you’re aiming

Once you’re aiming at an enemy, you can do one of two things: shoot, or frame trap. Either choice costs all of your aim points but neither costs any action econ; that means that it does not cost a main action, a reaction, or a bonus action.

Shoot: Let the arrow fly

You can send the arrow flying and it’s an incoming damage that bypasses AC and costs as much HP to negate as the aim points you spent.

Perfect if you know that you could wound or kill the enemy by letting go of the arrow: “I aim at the goblin [roll roll] Oh it only has 7 hp? I let my arrow fly, killing it!”

But you could also let the arrow go earlier anyway because you want to tire the enemy by making them spend a bunch of hp.

Frame trap: Improve a friend’s attack

When you friend succeeds with an attack roll vs the enemy’s AC, and sends an incoming damage to that enemy, you can spend your aim points to add to the cost of that damage. Diegetically, if the enemy is trying to avoid being shot by you, it’s also harder to avoid the sword attacks.

This makes aiming cool because it’s your choice if you want to kill steal (the enemy just spent a bunch of HP parrying a sword and now here’s a lethal arrow to finish the job) or team up (that sword is expensive enough because of all the aim points you helped with, so that the sword kills the enemy).

The damage type (for the purps of resistances, vulnerabilites & immunities) of the aim points is still the damage type of the weapon you’re aiming with; a monster immune to piercing don’t care if bows are aimed at it.

Oh, no, I lost track!

You can only keep your aim points as long as you’re actively & actually aiming at that one particular enemy. About to lose track of the enemy? (Maybe you need to use both hands or the enemy is leaving or whatever.) Don’t worry, you have chance to let the arrow fly if you wish; sure, maybe they can afford to negate it but they at least have to spend hit points to do so, tiring them. And maybe you don’t want to shoot (maybe you’re aiming from hiding at a guard and the guard is leaving because there’s a guard shift…. do you let go of the arrow or do you just give up on the aim points? It’s your choice. Aiming is always good because it gives you choices.)

Is aiming mandatory?

No. For the most part, aiming has (or is intended to have) the same math as attacking. It just looks cooler & can conserve ammo!

There is also a circumstance where it’s significantly more powerful to aim and that’s when you’re hidden.